In a few short weeks the 2017-2018 school year will be upon us. If you, or your student, is entering college, this year will be very different than the last twelve. Sure, you'll still need to pick out a book bag, stock up on supplies and try on some new jeans - but you may also be taking your first disbursement of a student loan. When used wisely, student loans are an effective way to cover college costs. Too often, we see young adults graduating from college buried by debt. This means that great new job they scored pays for debt rather than a new car. It also often means more time in mom's basement before they get their first place. If you want to go from dorm-life to independent life, get educated about more than just microbiology. The best way to manage your loans is to be educated about the terms of your loan and thoughtful about when and how much you borrow.